2020 keeps on giving in the worst possible sense of that expression. A new round of high winds hit Southern California this week, setting off yet another series of wildfires, three at last count. The largest, the Bond Fire in Orange County, has prompted another round of evacuations. My own area isn't directly impacted but heavy smoke blew our way early Thursday morning and it's still with us. The smoke was thick and the air quality shifted in to the unhealthy category yesterday so all work in the garden was off the table.
|I took this photo mid-morning yesterday. The boats off-shore mentioned in my prior post are still there but they're invisible in this photo.|
Even though I've temporarily suspended work in the garden, I got some small jobs done earlier in the week, starting with replanting the metal wok I use as a succulent container in the south side patio area.
|This is the "before" photo. I planted this wok more than a year ago and it looked fine until summer arrived. It got too much sun in this spot and I watered it too infrequently.|
|Mangave 'Tooth Fairy' was transplanted into a pot of its own in the hope that it'll begin to bulk up with better treatment|
|I picked up three new Echeveria to replace the Mangave as the focal point and filled in with cuttings taken from elsewhere in the garden. I also moved it a few feet to give it more shade during the hottest part of the day.|
|In addition to the Echeveria hookeri I picked up at my local garden center last week, I included cuttings of Crassula pubescens, Aeonium haworthii 'Kiwi Verde', Oscularia deltoides, and two other succulents I can't identify off the top of my head|
I also tweaked the planting scheme on the front slope in the area adjacent to my lath (shade) house).
|I think I'm done with this area for the time being, although I may move the Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire' at the base of the short stone wall|
|This is a view of the same area looking down with the lath house in the background|
The changes I've made since my November 20th post aren't monumental but I'm hoping the additions will help fill the empty spaces more quickly. A tray of mail-order succulents from Mountain Crest Gardens got me started.
I thought the addition of a second mid-sized Aloe striata in the upper tier of the slope might help balance things out but, rather than transplanting one of these from elsewhere in my garden, I made do with a pup from a hybrid Aloe.
|These pups come from an Aloe striata x maculata currently planted on the same slope. I planted the larger pup on the slope and popped the smaller one into a pot to bulk up.|
|The Aloe striata I already had is shown on the left; its cousin, Aloe striata x maculata, is in the middle; and the pup of the latter is shown on the right.|
I added a few other plants on spec, including a cutting of Echium handiense I managed to root from a cutting and a few rooted cuttings of Pelargonium peltatum 'Pink Blizzard'. The latter used to weave itself through Aeoniums on this slope and I'd liked the effect.
Other than some general dead-heading and garden clean-up, my other task was collecting fallen leaves and shredding them to start a batch of leaf mulch.
|I've collected more leaves since this batch, which half-filled this compost bin|
Our very dry and windy conditions are expected to continue well into next week. Fingers are crossed that the fire fighters are able to extinguish the fires already burning and that no more crop up. Rain would be a blessing as we've had just a twentieth of an inch thus far for the season starting October 1st but there's none of that on the horizon. Unfortunately, we're facing a La Niña year, which in Southern California means persistently warm, dry conditions.
Best wishes for a pleasant weekend whatever your weather.
All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party